the caterpillar was still on the lid this morning, but something was different. besides the obvious size increase, i also saw the molted skin, which at first i thought was just poopoo but upon closer inspection i could recognize the various parts it used to cover. i wonder if molting is painful? when it molts, the caterpillar can't eat, and it sort of has to struggle out of its old skin, otherwise it'll die. i wonder why caterpillars molt anyway. i can understand a hardshell creature like a crab or a lobster, but aren't caterpillars soft? i figured they're built like a balloon, ever expanding, until the time to turn into a butterfly. later, the caterpillar ate its own molted skin, which is kind of weird, but its nice to see insects doing some recycling.
i woke up to work, receiving a phone call from the client to take care of a 3rd project, another one of these "somebody's already worked on it, can you just fix it up?" deals. this one was extremely difficult, a combination of printing error, acrobat quirks, and possible lingo problems. the last few bugs of a program are usually the most difficult bugs, the ones that are still around because nobody wants to spend the time to fix them or even know how to fix them. after 3 hours of banging my head on the code (where i actually even rode out to microcenter to buy a new HP inkjet cartridge for $30), i wrote the client to let them know i wasn't making any progress, but promised them i'd take a look at it again tonight, perhaps i might have a sudden break of debugging inspiration.
i took a break from coding to go out running. 70 degrees is a good temperature to run, but i might actually prefer it a little bit more if it was 10 degrees cooler. i went around the river circuit in 15 minutes, and that's including the time i took to walk from the eliot bridge to the drinking fountain. i like to think that running is kind of a form of meditation, only if you do it right. if you can tune out the pain and the exhaustion and the heat, and just focus on where you're going, running can be very easy. i'm not at that stage yet, although occasionally i get close. like whenever i can feel the upper half of my body is detached from my legs, i take that to be a good sign. or whenever i don't even notice myself running, like i'm on autopilot, that's a good sign as well.
i got home, showered, then went back out again, to east cambridge, where somebody was selling a wooden loft bed for $150. i got there, the guy answered the door while talking on the phone, ushered me into the house still on the phone, and proceeded to finish the call, talking for several more minutes, not paying any attention to me. i stood there with my helmet in one hand, the tape measure in the other, waiting for him to finish up. "oh, i got a date," he said happily, "i can't tell you how long it's been." i smiled politely, rattling the tape measure to remind him why i was here. he grabbed his bowl of cereal (corn pops) and led me to the basement (oh oh), where the disassembled loft bed was sitting in a dark corner. i did some measuring and said my good byes, letting him know i'd give him an answer by tomorrow. before i left, he asked, "how did you get here?" i knew he wasn't trying to be metaphysical, it was obvious what he wanted. "did you drive here?" he inquired. this kind of bugged me. he was kind of rude when i came in, and now he's asking me for a ride. what also irked me was he obviously wasn't very good at noticing things: i had my helmet, he couldn't 1+1 to the conclusion that maybe i didn't arrive here by car. "sorry, i came here by motorcycle," i informed him, then i left, he didn't even see me out the door.
by this time, the caterpillar had finally came down from the lid, and was busy eating the leaf, a very good sign. it doesn't eat nonstop though. after a while, it crawls away from where it was eating, and then it just kind of sits there, perhaps digesting its food, perhaps just resting.
my mother and sister came for dinner later in the evening. we had dumplings, noodles, and salmon steaks.